The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #3

 

Revelation Chapter #3

Today in this article I would like to discuss the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, to discuss the words written so that we can understand their meanings. Chapter #3 is a lot like chapter #2 was in that it is directed at three particular Churches back at the end of the first century A.D.. In the last chapter of this Book, #22 in verse #10 the Lord told the Apostle John “Do not seal the sayings of the Prophecy’s of this book: for the time is at hand.” There are those who teach in today’s Churches that this Book is not meant to be understood, that it is just a bunch of signs and symbols. I grew up in a Church which taught this, yet such a belief is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ who dictated the contents of this Book to the Apostle John. Some of the teachings within this Book do go contrary to the teachings of the Church I grew up in, I wondered even back then if this is the reason they wanted to keep this a ‘closed’ book. This Book is like all books in the sense that you must slowly read it if you are to have any hope of understanding it. Yet, at least in my own personal opinion, I believe that a person needs to read all of the other 65 Books of the Bible first before you can grasp the understanding of some of the issues written here in the Bibles last Book. The Book of Revelation has 404 verses in it, of those 404 verses 278 contain references to the Old Testament. True understanding of the Scriptures of God are given to people through the eyes and heart of the Holy Spirit. If a person reads God’s Scriptures through ‘the eyes of the flesh’ there is very little chance that the person will understand what the Holy Spirit is actually saying.

After this third chapter ‘the Church’ will not be mentioned anymore here in this Book, the reason is that after this time ‘The Church” will no longer be here on the Earth, it will be in Heaven. Now I would like to get into these last three Churches of the seven the Lord was addressing in chapter number two, then we will be done talking about these seven Churches. These three Churches that this chapter are revolved around were located in Asia-Minor, they were located in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Sardis is located in modern-day Greece, the other two are in modern-day Turkey. First let’s look at what The Lord had to say to the Church in Sardis. The Lord told John “To the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; these things saith He that has the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are really dead.” “Be watchful and strengthen the things you still have that are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God.” “Remember therefore how that you received and heard, hold fast to that, and repent. For if you do not pay attention, I will come unto you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I come unto you.” “There are a few among you even there in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in White: for they are worthy.” “He that overcomes this world shall be clothed in White Raiment; and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Friends there is no great mystery what The Lord is saying to the people at the Church in Sardis, nor in what He is telling us. The Lord in this letter is pointing out these folks good and their bad points. On the things that they are doing that are good and pleasing to Him, He tells them to continue in these ways. Yet on the things they are doing which are displeasing to Him, He tells them to stop doing those things, to correct their ways. Now here is the ‘kicker’ to those who believe in the fallacy of “once saved always saved.” Chapter three verse number five where The Lord said “and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life.” After we die and go before God at our judgement our names must be in ‘The Book of Life”, or we will be cast into Hell at that time. This verse makes it rather plain that one’s name can be removed from this Book. Please do not fall for the Demonic teaching of once saved always saved, it simply is not true, that teaching is not the teaching of God.

Let’s move onto the second Church, the one in Philadelphia that is in modern-day Turkey. The Lord said “To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; these things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David. He that opens and no man can shut, He that shuts and no man can open.” “I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it. For you have a little power and have obeyed My Word and you have not denied My Name.” “Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, for they do lie. Behold I will make them come and worship before your feet, then they will realize that I have loved you.” “Because you have kept the word of my patients, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall which shall come upon the whole world. To try them which dwell upon the Earth.” “Behold, I shall come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have so that no man can take your Crown.” “To he that overcomes I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of God. He shall no more go out, and I shall write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God which is the New Jerusalem which shall come down out of Heaven from God and I will write upon him My new name for him.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Philadelphia did not receive the rebuke that almost all of the other Churches received because God was pleased with the work that they were doing. Philadelphia was a Church that wasn’t just attending  a once a week service then sitting on their hands the rest of the week doing nothing to help save those that were living their lives around them, they were getting God’s Word out, outside of the Church walls. Yet if you will notice The Lord did warn them about becoming lazy, complacent in their work for Him. Just as with the other Churches we are shown the fact that we can ‘lose’ our Crown if we are not careful. Remember God’s teachings, there is no such thing as once saved always saved!

Now let’s go onto the seventh of the Seven Churches on the Lord’s list here at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, this last Church is the one that was at Laodicea. “To the Angel of the Church in Laodicea write; these things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I wish that you were one or the other.” “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” “Because you say you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” “I advise you to buy from Me gold that is tried in the fire so that you may be rich and clothed in White Raiment so that you may be clothed so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you might see.” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefor and repent.” “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with Me.” “To him that overcomes this world I will grant him to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His Throne.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

My friends, is there really anything that is written in this letter that is too difficult to understand? The Church at Laodicea had become large and filled with people who were wealthy and they felt safe in their size and their wealth. You know, if there was no such thing as a ‘God’, if all that humans did was live and die and then, there was nothing, this loving the dollar thing might actually be of some value. But, there is a God, and that God is not a person’s bank account. Even if we are a person who goes to Church every week and call ourselves a Christian, if we do not do ‘the works’ of Jesus, we are nothing but lukewarm water. ‘Christians’ who live their lives like this are really nothing but dead men/women walking and they are to blind and self-absorbed to know that they are walking on a plank above an active volcano. These Churches are teaching what I call “feel good religion.” To many Churches here in America have become businesses first, if Preachers teaches things that are uncomfortable to the people sitting in the pews many of those people will quit going to that Church and when this happens the money they were putting in the ‘offering plate’ leaves with them. To many Churches ‘Leaders’ are afraid to teach messages that are uncomfortable to ‘the flock’ for this reason. I have a question for every one of us, which do we fear more, a reduction in our income, or the wrath of God? The Lord’s Church (His Bride) must be a House of Worship and a House of Prayer first for it to be a God-fearing and God-loving Church/Bride.

I am going to close this article tonight with the words that are inscribed on the wall of a Church in Lübeck Germany. It is only 13 sentences but I think it is an excellent way to close this article tonight. My question to you is, what do you think of them?

Thus Speaks Christ our Lord to us:

You call Me Master, but you do not obey Me.

You call Me Light, but you do not see Me.

You call Me The Way, but you do not walk with Me.

You call Me Life, but you do not choose Me.

You call Me Wise, but you do not follow Me.

You call Me Fair, but you do not love Me.

You call Me Rich, but you do not ask of Me.

You call Me Eternal, but you do not seek Me.

You call Me Noble, but you do not serve Me.

You call Me Gracious, but you do not trust Me.

You call Me Mighty, but you do not honor Me.

You call Me Just, but you do not fear Me.

If I condemn you, do not blame Me!

Lukewarm Christians turn away would be Christians by how they live their lives. When we say we are Christians but we walk after the ways of the Devil these would be Christians see this and they turn away from Christianity. These lukewarm actions cost more than just your own Soul to be condemned, it costs the Souls of those around us who see our ‘works’ and flee from the teachings of God because of our evil ways.

Bible: Revelation Chapter #2

 

Revelation Chapter #2

Chapter #2 is all about the message the Lord Jesus gave to his Apostle John about seven of the Churches that were in Asia-Minor at that time. There were many Churches at that time but God chose these seven in which to give direct messages to. This chapter touches on all seven of the Church’s but it concentrates mostly on just four of them, the other three will be covered more in chapter #3. One thing that all people need to understand is that ‘The Church’ is the ‘Bride of Christ’ that He will be coming back to get. Like any ‘Bride’ the Groom wants His Bride to be as pure and faithful as possible, the ‘Church’ for Jesus is no different. In the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation the Church is mentioned 19 times yet in chapters 4 through 20 the Church is not mentioned at all. The reason for this is that after chapter #3 the Church leaves this physical Earth. Chapters 4-20 covers issues of what is yet to be. Jesus in His messages to these seven Churches were direct in their meanings and in their messages to these late first century Churches. O, by the way, if you are able to afford the trip, the ruins of these seven Churches still exist today if you wish to go check them out.

With how the Lord addressed each of these Churches it gives us a snapshot of the condition of each of their congregations at the time. All Churches are made up of human beings and just like human beings each Church then and today, have their own personalities, their own little quirks about them. This is one huge reason why it is so important for a Church to have Holy Spirit led Leaders within the Church family. If the head is a snake it will poison the body and consume all that was good about it. This is true of a family, a business, a Country, or of a Church. First I would like to discuss the Church that was at Philadelphia. The Lord was addressing this one Church yet it is obvious that He was addressing not just the Church at Philadelphia, He was addressing these other six Churches as well. What was also obvious is that He was addressing every Church Congregation every where, then and now. Remember, every Congregation just like any other family is made up of individuals, so the Lord was also talking directly to me, and to you. You see, all Churches must be in lockstep with each other in that there is only one Lord, one God, one Church (Bride), and one Head of The Church (one Groom) and that is Jesus The Christ who bought us with His own blood. If you will notice, there are seven addresses given to these seven Churches and within them is given the seven periods of the Church’s history. For those who are unaware of it ‘The Church’ began on the Day of Pentecost after the Lord had risen and ascended back to His Throne in Heaven. This day is when ‘The Kingdom, The Comforter’ which was the Holy Spirit was given to the twelve Apostles of Christ.

The Lord starts off His address to each of the Churches with the saying “I know your works”. With most of the Churches He congratulates the Congregation and then gives a condemnation to them. Yet, for two of the Congregations He did not give a condemnation, these two Churches were the ones at Philadelphia and Smyrna. The reasons for this are rather simple, Philadelphia was a missionary Church and Smyrna was a martyr Church as both of these Churches were effectively getting out the Word of God in their areas. Another thing to notice is the fact that He gave no congratulation to the Congregation at Laodicea, He only gave them a condemnation. The reason for this is that this Church, this Congregation had fallen away from the teachings of God that it had been founded upon. Each of the seven messages to the seven Churches all ended with the same warning “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says.”

Within chapter #2 you will find the Lord’s messages to the first four Churches. In verses (1-7) you find the Lord’s message to the Church that was at Ephesus, in verses (8-11) this message is to the Church at Smyrna, in verses (12-17) the message is to the Church at Pergamos. The last of this chapter is to the Church at Thyatira, verses (18-29). The Lord’s messages to the other three Churches, Philadelphia, Sardis, and Laodicea, you will find in Chapter #3. If you would, please consider the Lord’s four messages to these first four Churches. Now remember, these messages are to the Apostle John at the direction of The Lord Jesus. “Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things that the Lord has to say to them.” ” I know your works and your labor and your patience. I know how you can not tolerate them which are evil, and how you have tested them which say they are Apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. also how you have borne burdens and have been persistent, and for my Name sake you have labored and have not become weak. Never the less I have something against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and practice your first works, or else I will come unto you quickly and will remove your candlestick out of its place, unless you repent. But there is one thing which you hate, that is the deeds of make-believe Christians, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the presence of God.” You see my friends, there is such a thing as falling away from the truth of God, and there is no such thing as ‘once saved always saved.”

Now the message from Jesus to the Church at Smyrna. “To the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; these things the Lord has to say to you, He which is the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” “I know your works and your tribulation (time of great affliction) and your poverty (but you are rich). I know the blasphemy of those which say they are Jews and are not. But are of the Synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you shall have tribulation. But if you are faithful until death I will give you a Crown of Life. “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches, he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.” Again my friends, the Lord says plainly that we must remain faithful unto death. These ‘Churches’ of today who are not teaching this, are not teaching the message that God Himself has given to all of us, they are not, teaching God’s word!

Now let’s study the message that God gave to the Church that was at Pergamos. “To the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write, these things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges. I know your works and where you live, I even know where Satan’s seat is. I know that you hold fast to My name, and that you have not abandoned My faith, even in those days when Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you. Because among you there are those that hold to the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. To eat things which had been sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. You also have among you those that follow the teachings of make-believe Christians which is something I hate. Repent, or else I will come unto you quickly and will fight against you with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit has to say to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give them to eat of the hidden manna, and will give them a White Stone. And in the Stone a new Name written. Which no man will recognize except for he that receives it.” My friends, again and again, we must remain faithful through our deaths. Also, in these verses we are being told very plainly that it does matter what the Churches, the Preachers, are teaching the Congregation. It is very important for the people to know exactly what “The Truth” is and the best way to do this is to separate out a little bit of our day each day to study the Bible and for prayer. It is also the absolute duty of the Congregation to insist that the Church Leadership is teaching the true messages of God to the Congregation, it does matter what is being taught from the pulpit.

I am going to finish off this article tonight with the message that the Lord gave to the Church at Thyatira. “Unto the Angel of the Church at Thyatira write. These things says the Son of God who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire and His feet are like fine brass. I know your works and charity and service and faith and your patience. But I still have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a Prophetess, to teach and to mislead my Servants to commit fornication and to eat things which have been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her fornication but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed and those that promote pagan religious ideas with her into great troubles, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her offspring with death and all the Churches will realize that I am He which judges the wills and the hearts. And I will give unto everyone according to your works (deeds). But unto you I say and unto the rest in Thyatira and for those who do not practice pagan doctrine and have not experienced the depths of Satan as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But the faith and doctrine which you already have, hold firmly until I come. He that overcomes and maintains my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.”

As you can easily see The Lord has many things to say to the Churches then and to the Churches now. Just as The Lord had a lot to say to the individuals then, He said a lot to each of us now. The Lord has made it so very plain that we must all remain faithful unto our own death, a Church or a person that teaches otherwise is not teaching the Word nor the Will of God. Anyone who teaches something so ridiculous as you can sprinkle a little water on an infant and that this baby, this person is now saved is just that, ridiculous. Think about this for a moment please, Hitler’s Mom was a Catholic, so there is a real good chance that Hitler was “saved” as an infant. So, then he grew up to be the monster that he was, but that was okay for him, he was still saved. Really folks? We are not saved by our works, our deeds, it is the Grace of God we are saved by. But God has laid down His “to do list” for all of us. We must walk after the heart and the face of The Lord everyday of our lives. He knows we will all have days that we will stumble but God knows each of our hearts, He will judge us by that, the condition of our hearts and our efforts. Okay, that is all for this evening, I hope this breakdown was of some help to you. Hopefully I will be able to get to chapter #3 tomorrow. For now, good night and God bless.